Walking Day 2 – Portishead Salt Marches
Selling The Quest To The Family
As it turned out, it wasn’t as hard to sell The Quest to The Family as I feared it might be. Dog was an easy convert because – being a dog – he loves to walk. Daddy Pants was initially mildly sceptical (who can blame him?) but then oddly enthusiastic. ‘We’ll have to buy more maps,’ he said with a glimmer in his eye. I should point out at this stage that Daddy Pants is very keen on maps. He reads blogs about them in his spare time. He colours them in. He draws them. I should also add that one of the things that he was most impressed about on our first date (we went walking) was the fact that I could map read and plot a grid reference. Sexy stuff apparently. He gestured to our already not insignificant collection of maps and added, ‘We don’t have all the coast of the UK. There isn’t a path that goes around the whole way yet.’‘No, the complete path doesn’t open until 2020,’ I added with some degree of pride. I had been Googling – the first thing one does when one has a bat-shit-crazy idea – and had discovered this little fact. ‘No complete path?’ he said with a growing interest in the subject. ‘Then we’ll have to make one!’ I realised at this point that I had him. There is nothing that Daddy Pants likes more than plotting a walk. Ok, there are a few things he likes more – ice cream and terrifying sounding heavy metal – but plotting things on maps is high up there.
Baggy Pants looked at the map on the table and asked, ‘Where do we live?’ We popped a dot on the map to show her. ‘And where are you going to walk, Mummy?’
‘Well, it’s not on this map. The map only does a little bit of the walk,’ I told her. She considered the map in front of her and said, ‘That’s a very long way then. Where is Scotland?’
‘Oh, Scotland isn’t on this map. We’ll need a different one for that. This one is just Portishead and Clevedon.’
‘Will I get to see a Sea Eagle if I go to Scotland?’ she asked.
‘You might. I can’t promise,’ I replied.
‘Ok then. I want to see an eagle flying so I will come.’ Satisfied with her announcement she went back to turning her arm into a spaghetti caterpillar.
So that was The Family on board with The Quest.
As it turned out I was able to get the next little leg of Portishead in the bag that very afternoon.
I took Dog on a walk that he loves – a blast about the Salt Marches.
This essentially means that he gets to writhe around in wonderful, smelly anerobic mud. He comes home smelling like a stinky old badger, but it’s worth it to watch him having the time of his life. Everytime. That’s the thing about Dog – no matter how many times he’s done something he loves – it’s always like the first time for him. Unbridled joy and enthusiasm.
The stinky mud shouldn’t put you off wanting to walk there by the way – humans can stay on the path and don’t have to get involved in the mud. There is a splendid view of Avonmouth and if you’re very lucky you’ll get to see one of the massive container ships passing alarmingly close to the shore. Portishead has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, which means that the shipy-ships can get mega close. There’s an app that you can get that tells you what’s in the ships, but I can tell you now that they are predominately carrying cars and bananas. You can also go to Marine Traffic which tells you where the ships have come from and the route they took to get to Avonmouth – which I pleases me immeasurably.
I walked as far as I could along the Salt Marches and was only stopped by the prolific stinging nettles and the rapidly narrowing path. It was eventually inpassable and I received some delightful nettle stings to the back of the legs. I’m not actually sure where the path ended up but according to the OS map it doesn’t really go anywhere and will just stop at…… You can’t walk any further towards Avonmouth along this route so I will have to explore further inland to get there. I really want to have a nosy around Avonmouth and look at the industrial buildings and windmills. I love windmills and delight in seeing them on the horizon.
My second leg had gone well and I had explored a little more of my surrounding area. Now to plot and plan the next stage……